’90s Kids and Teen TV Shows That Should Be Rebooted in 2024


The craze of reviving, rebooting, or creating sequels to beloved (and not-so-beloved) TV shows has been going strong for many years now and shows no sign of slowing down. Reboots can range from cute but not as good as the original, to superior to the original, to disgraceful to the original, but good or bad, it’s time for the TV industry to tackle some forgotten YA shows of the ’90s.

A source of nostalgia for Gen X and Millennials, these shows have either lived on as cult classics or faded into our memories, but it’s time these VHS archives get dusted off for another look. Whether our classic teens-attending-school dramas, or wacky sci-fi comedies, or spooky anthology tales, or even some cheesy cartoon adventures, there’s potential in many of our old favorites that we haven’t thought about in years. Here are the top ‘90s kids’ TV shows you forgot about that deserve to get rebooted. 

1. Daria


With her trademark wit and wry style, Daria remains a cult hit to this day. Even contemporary shows like Bojack Horseman pay homage to her style, so the show is still in the cultural consciousness enough that there’d surely be interest in a reboot. There have been plans for spinoff movies based on Daria in development, though no word on a revival of the main series.

Daria’s detached, cynical commentary on her high school life was grounded in the late ’90s as it aired, but there are multiple possible routes for a revival: either keeping her in the original time period for nostalgia or potentially placing her into the 2020s to give a similar tone of misanthropic humor about today’s world, which could resonate with Gen Z. If voice actor Tracy Grandstaff could be convinced to return and do her trademark monotone delivery, Daria could live again in the 2020s. 

2. Gargoyles


This cartoon classic is a sure nostalgia trigger for anyone who was alive in the ’90s. The show documents the tales of ancient gargoyles who were cursed to sleep as stone statues, when they suddenly wake up in 1994 in New York City after a billionaire buys the castle where they were perched. The show explored the gargoyles’ experiences adjusting to modern city life, whilst protecting the world from the evil plotting of Xanatos, as well as dealing with other magical and mundane threats.

Long after its three-season run, it has maintained a cult following and ranked on multiple outlets’ lists of greatest animated shows. Fortunately, the show is owned by Disney, which has tons of resources for producing new series, and Disney+ is already a great platform for nostalgic animated properties. A revival of Gargoyles in the spirit of the original could be great for family viewing, so hopefully, Disney will consider it.  

3. Darkwing Duck

Darkwing Duck

Like many cartoon heroes, Darkwing Duck lives a split life, masquerading as the boring family duck Drake Mallard, but with his ego drawing him more towards his escapades as the superhero Darkwing Duck. The lighthearted nature of the show and slapstick battles rather than true “fight” scenes made it a great, affectionate satire of classic superheroes, which would still be at home today when superhero TV shows are as present as ever.

Fans can rejoice, since a reboot is currently in development at Disney+, though no release date has been announced yet. Though it allegedly takes place in a different universe than DuckTales, it shares some characters with the latter show. Following the 2017 DuckTales reboot, we can only wonder if the Darkwing revival could crossover with DuckTales now that “cinematic universes” are popular. Hopefully, Disney will expand the “Duckiverse” with this reboot.  

4. Wishbone


Reading Shakespeare is a hard sell for teens, but watching a dog act out Shakespeare is way more fun. Wishbone helped make a lot of literary classics accessible and understandable to a generation of ’90s kids, and with its timeless concept, it can absolutely be revived to help new generations enjoy classic works (or study for English class).

From The Odyssey to Oliver Twist, Wishbone daydreamed his way through many classics, but there are certainly more that could be covered in a revival of the show. PBS also was not afraid to let Wishbone show the stories as they happened and not changing them to be happier and more kid-oriented, which could earn everyone’s favorite Jack Russell Terrier a place in modern TV as well. 

5. The Wild Thornberrys

The Wild Thornberrys

If The Wild Thornberrys reminds you of another ’90s classic, Rugrats, it’s for good reason: the two cartoons share some of the same creators (Irene Klasky and Gabor Csupo). The Thornberrys roamed the world in their hyper-adaptable motor home to make documentaries, giving us many laughs from father Nigel’s exclamations of “Smashing!” to the younger daughter Eliza’s secret gift of talking to animals.

Klasky and Csupo originally pitched the show as an adult animated sitcom in the vein of The Simpsons or Bob’s Burgers, focusing on the father, Nigel, as the lead, which could be a perfect angle to revive it – with more mature jokes to attract older audiences – and boost the popularity of the original, too. The show also had a crossover with Rugrats in the film Rugrats Go WildRugrats received a reboot in 2021, which did well enough to get renewed for a second season, so The Wild Thornberrys should come next. 

6. The Secret World of Alex Mack

The Secret World of Alex Mack

This supernatural teen adventure was part of Nickelodeon’s “SNICK” programming block of shows aimed at slightly older teens. Alex Mack is an average teen girl until one day, she’s nearly hit by a truck from the local chemical factory, drenched in chemicals, and gains a variety of superpowers, which she has to keep from acting up at the wrong time (like her skin glowing). The series began as a light comedy but grew deeper and darker in the later seasons, revealing the CEO of the chemical company had been developing the superpower chemical for some time and killed people to cover it up. Alex teams up with friends (and crushes) to unravel the conspiracy.

A revival with a similar concept could speak to issues that are still present today, like pollution, corporate greed, and climate change. Leaning into the darker tone of later seasons off the bat might work well on a streaming platform. Perhaps Alex’s daughter could discover a new conspiracy and find powers of her own to confront it.

7. Sweet Valley High

Sweet Valley High

The highly popular novel series by Francine Pascal which began in 1983 spawned a TV adaptation with four seasons and a total of 88 episodes, a solid run that most millennials will remember. Sweet Valley High, the TV show, centered on twins Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield, with different personalities: Elizabeth is kind and conscientious, while Jessica is fun-loving and naughty. Episodes mostly consisted of standard teen show plots, putting the twins in contrast with each other, like when they’re both nominated for homecoming queen, or get tricked into dating the same boy.

Many episodes were loosely based on the novels from the series, but not all of them, so there’s plenty more material to adapt. While straightforward teen shows like this don’t tend to do well anymore, there might be room for a Sweet Valley High revival with a distinct twist. Perhaps a supernatural element or some ongoing conspiracy between the twins could spice up Sweet Valley, the same way Riverdale uses ever-changing mysteries and magic to spice up the Archie Comics.

8. The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo

The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo

This mystery-solving show ran for four seasons, following teen Shelby Woo interning with the police. She was not hired to help with actual police work, yet she used her natural investigation skills to help with cases, much to the dismay of her grandfather who wants her to help run their inn, and the police officers, who didn’t want a kid interfering in their work.

Shelby Woo reboot could be a good chance to revive the “procedural” mystery show for young audiences, following the success of recent teen mystery shows like Wednesday and Nancy Drew (both also revivals of beloved properties). Though Shelby Woo is lesser known, the original show featured noted actor Pat Morita (known for The Karate Kid and M*A*S*H) as Shelby’s grandfather initially. Though Morita has passed away, there could be a way to honor him in a revival – maybe Shelby runs the inn now in his memory and has a child of her own who wants to solve mysteries. 

9. Animorphs


Based on the popular YA science fiction seriesAnimorphs follows friends Jake, Marco, Rachel, Cassie, and Tobias, who are gifted the ability to morph into various animals, on the condition they use this power to protect Earth from the invasion of mind-controlling parasites, the Yeerks. The show ended after two seasons and suffered from the limited special effects of the era, making the trademark “morphing” look less than stellar. However, the show deserves another shot to succeed with modern VFX.

With over 50 main series novels – plus special editions – there’s plenty of material to work with. Animorphs would be well suited to a more mature YA reboot on Netflix or a similar platform, which could delve into the longer storylines and the darkness of the war with the Yeerks. The arc of the series is already laid out, which could make for an excellent multi-season story for a TV show if allowed time to tell the full plot. If any streaming platform is willing to commit to doing a reboot properly, Animorphs could be a major hit for a new generation.